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Descriptive Table of Contents Section Introductions
HOW TO MAKE YOUR BODY WORK BETTER
I describe the method of Structural Integration Bodywork in two phases.
This section looks at the treatment as a therapy, just as massage and other forms of physical medicine are therapies. It explains how this treatment, which I refer to as "the Bodywork," corrects the problems due to accumulated shortness and tightness better than other methods because of the hands-on method it uses and the whole body, interconnected approach it takes. It provides in-depth information and treatment tips for other body practitioners including other Structural Integrators.
Chapter 1: The Basics: How Muscles Work &
Muscles are really bundles of long thin muscles fibers surrounded by and held together with a putty-like fibrous connective tissue called fascia (fah sha). While the muscle fibers are the active elements that make the muscle move, it is the fascia that bunches up, and thereby accumulates and holds shortness and tightness in the body.
Chapter 2: Fixing the First of 2 Basic Things That Go Wrong:
Fascia bunches up from athletic and non-athletic physical activities and from
emotional stress, falls, injuries and repetitive movement habits.
activities might be giving you strength and accomplishment, their negative side
effect of bunching up fascia is simultaneously creating worse and worse
limitations and restrictions. Even children and teenagers get it. This treatment
removes these negative side effects and even improves your condition so it's
better than it's been in years.
Chapter 3: Why Stretching Alone Doesn't Correct
Stretching alone doesn't correct these problems for a few reasons: because of the hardness and other properties of the bunched-up tissue, and because of the way most stretching is done. However, stretching, including yoga, and the Bodywork are mutually supportive; doing each enables the other to do more.
Chapter 4: Creating Better Overall Ease
Shortness and tightness are not, however, just local issues of individual muscles bunching up. There are many interconnections of muscle and fascia from one part of the body to others. Tight areas can only release easily and lengthen fully when all the interconnected areas are also lengthened, otherwise they will hold the area you’re trying to lengthen tight. This chapter describes a number of the more significant sets of interconnections and explains some general guidelines on how we approach "the interconnected body" in general.
Chapter 5: Preventing Injuries Before They Happen
As an aid to our hands on manipulations, practitioners can actually see shortness and misalignment in the body, often before the person knows it's there him or herself. We're trained in Structural Body Reading. We can also see what part of an interconnected set of muscles is holding the rest tight. This guides us in doing more precise and efficient hands-on work. And we can take Polaroid photos to show you what we see and explain why we work in each part of your body. Body reading, including from videos of performance, is very helpful, because it can lengthen tightness that could cause an injury, before it happens.
Chapter 6: Fast & Deep Hamstring Lengthening &
This chapter describes the obvious and not so obvious causes of accumulated leg muscle shortness, what physical and even psychological problems they cause, and how the Bodywork can correct them. It explains how we can prevent injuries from happening and help heal them if they have. It indicates how the corrections improve an athlete's performance, an elderly or injured person's mobility, and a stressed or restricted person's relaxation and expressiveness. It gives information about which muscle tightness causes what kind of problems. So it can help body therapists of all kinds do a better job.
Chapter 7: Fast & Deep Arm & Shoulder Lengthening &
This chapter points out how the arms are really part of a big body suit that fits over the torso and how arm bunch-up causes tightness throughout the torso as well as in the arms. This includes the arm bunch-up that most of us don't feel. The chapter describes a few ways the Bodywork helps arms and shoulders, and this, too, can be used by body therapists in their work.
Chapter 8: Increasing Torso Flexibility, Expanding Breathing
The Bodywork can lengthen and loosen muscles a lot more than people imagine they can. When applied to the torso, it significantly increases flexibility and agility and increases the ease and volume of deep, full breathing, even for elite athletes and smokers. This much fuller breathing improves physiology in other ways besides increasing the amount of oxygen. It massages the internal organs, it activates the rejuvenating parasympathetic nervous system and it pumps cerebral spinal fluid to the brain. Here, again, are tips for the body therapist.
This section describes the whole-body effects of Structural Integration. It
takes the treatment beyond the level of therapy for any specific problem and
shows us how we can systematically transform the whole body structure so it
functions at a higher level.
Chapter 9: Fixing the Second of 2 Basic Things That Go Wrong:
Accumulated shortness in the fascia creates misalignment in the joints. This decreases performance and can lead to injury. Further, because of shortness and improper movement habits, the body also develops significant misalignments in the whole structure, making our legs, torso, neck and head zig-zag front to back and side to side.
These misalignments decrease athletic performance and even restrict the quality of everyday activity, and they use up body energy. Structural Integration Bodywork (and any stretching methods that take these conditions into account) correct these distortions in our structures. And body therapists can use this information about the whole body to expand on the localized treatments they already do.
Chapter 10: Improving Metabolism & Respiration,
By improving the consistency of the fascia and removing tightness, we also improve the metabolic properties of the fascia and both blood and lymph vessels. More nutrients can be carried to the cells and more waste products will be carried away from them at any time. This benefits athletes, people under stress, senior citizens, and improves general health. This physiological benefit, combined with the improved structural benefits, has repeatedly shown to increase endurance and significantly shorten recovery time for athletes of all ages.
Chapter 11: Fixing Backs, Shoulders, Necks & Heads
This chapter explains an almost universal misalignment, which I call the Basic Imbalance. And it explains how the many kinds of back, neck and shoulder problems we develop have their cause in this condition. In the Basic Imbalance, the legs lean forward, the torso backward, and the head and neck just forward again. It's a zig-zag.
There are also three general variations of added tightness on top of it, and they cause other kinds of pain and difficulties. Neck and shoulder tensions also develop because of certain work habits and lower back pain can come directly from some athletics. Arm and head tension, even when it's not felt, can cause back tightness and pain. This chapter analyzes all these conditions and explains how the Bodywork can correct them. Like the other analyses in this book, this will help other body practitioners in their own work.
Chapter 12: Creating a Very Efficient and Stress Resistant
If we take lengthening, aligning and integrating a step further than these
explanations, we can see how to make the whole body work better, between all its
parts and with relation to the constant force of gravity, both when we move and
when we stand still. This condition works on the principle of balancing all the
forces of tension, created by the muscle and fascia lengths, with the elements
that resist that tension, the rigid bones.
Chapter 13: The Increasing Benefits of
The basic Structural Integration process is a 10 to 20 hour program that is
performed in a series of 10 steps, each of which treats a particular area, or
muscle group. This series of sessions can take place over a two to four month
period, but can also be condensed to under a month and even less.
This section does three things. First, it gives you background informationabout how Structural Integration Bodywork was developed, where and how it is taught, and how well established it is. Second, it tells you how to locate practitioners and what to ask them about to find one who's right for you. Third, it describes, in detail, things you and the practitioner can do so you get more out of the treatment and enjoy it as much as possible. These are helpful hints for other Bodywork practitioners as well as clients.
Chapter 14: Where Did This Originate and
This chapter summarizes the major, and often unique benefits of this treatment, how they were developed and how and where they're taught. It puts the process I've described into its larger and well established context. Contrary to the initial guessing of many people, this treatment was not developed in the orient. It was developed by an American woman, a PhD physiologist and biochemist, who lived in Brooklyn, NYC, and also did research in countries around the world.
Chapter 15: My Own Training and Application of the Work
If you know about me, my background and how I developed my specialties, it'll give you a professional context from which you can appreciate the information I've written in this book. What I say is based on my 2000 hours training and 15 years experience. It will also give you some ideas about what kind of background or experience in a practitioner you would want to look for, what kinds of questions you would ask, and how different practitioners could help you.
Chapter 16: How to Find and Check Out a Practitioner
This chapter tells you some effective ways to find practitioners in your area, or whom you could travel to, and then gives a descriptive list of what to ask them about, including experience, specialties, lengths of sessions, house calls, fee structure, insurance coverage, discomforts from their work, if any, and so forth.
Chapter 17: How to Make Your Bodywork Treatment
This is a very long chapter that gives you the benefit of my 15 years experience as both a practitioner and recipient. It goes into detail to include methods both you and the practitioner can use to: increase enjoyment, decrease pain, improve body awareness, enhance psychological development, and get the most effective physical release. This information is, of course, helpful for practitioners as well as clients.
The first chapters in this section describe the differences between the Bodywork and other forms of body therapy. It points out how this treatment is different. Those methods are predominately muscle, bone and joint oriented, and locally focused in their approach. Structural Integration manipulates the fascia, and has a structural alignment approach. And because of what it does, the Bodywork is complementary to all the other treatments and enables them to do what they do better.
The last two chapters describe how the Bodywork significantly improves personal development work: psychological therapy, self awareness and self expression...for performing artists and business people, for spiritual growth and for social interaction.
Chapter 18: How Structural Integration Bodywork is Different
The major difference in correcting tightness is that massage and trigger point therapy release muscle fiber contractions and the Bodywork lengthens fascial shortness and corrects overall misalignment. Massage will also move accumulated blood and waste matter out of the muscle. And trigger point therapy is good at releasing reflex tightness, especially that caused by metabolic disturbance.
Getting the Bodywork will help massage and trigger point therapy do more of what they're good at doing. Myo-fascial manipulation, while moving connective tissue, does not accomplish the alignment and organizational results that Structural Integration does, unless the practitioner is also trained in many of the same principles.
Chapter 19: How It's Compatible with Chiropractic,
Chiropractic and this Bodywork combine well together. The reasons they do, and a few ways to combine them are described. While many chiropractors use massage therapists in their offices to loosen tightness before they adjust, the Bodywork will create even more looseness and length, in both the back and the other, very important, interconnecting muscles of the arms, legs, head, chest, abdomen and pelvis. In general, Bodywork makes adjustments go in easier and last longer. More adjustments, that were jammed tight before, can also be made.
Chapter 20: How It's Different from Acupuncture, and
Acupuncture and acupressure are parts of Traditional Chinese Medicine and also, Japanese systems of body therapy and medicine as well. In a few ways, these treatments have the ability to relax muscles, similar to some of the things massage and trigger point therapy do. But these, too, do not lengthen much fascia nor do they have Structural Integration and whole body alignment as a goal. Like other therapies that manipulate bones, muscles, blood & lymph flow, and energies, acupuncture and acupressure treatments do more after a person's had the Bodywork.
Chapter 21: How this Work Helps People Undergoing
Chapter 22: How SIB Helps Us Psychologically,
Even just the removal of physical pain and tightness due to stress almost
always improves a person's demeanor. However, psychological trauma also gets
caught in our bodies, both by actually impressing the energies of the incidents
into the "organic crystal" collagen fibers and by making our muscular structure
held in and shortened.
Chapter 23: How SIB Helps Us Express Ourselves Better, and
Physical restrictions and tensions in our movement, speech, emoting and awareness abilities, limits the effectiveness of our expression. This affects newscasters, performing artists, business people, fine artists and interacting family members. Psychologically generated fears to expressiveness also cause problems. So do the hyper or excessive compensations we make.
The Bodywork helps a lot to remove all of these limitations and distortions, in the same way it helps with psychological therapy and in removing stress. A person becomes more balanced, integrated, centered and open. Concentration and Insight Meditations, Body Awareness Techniques and Movement Education can teach us how to move and carry ourselves in more effective ways. They do more after we're transformed with the Bodywork because they can take advantage of our improved capabilities. This training will also improve many kinds of verbal expression, and reduce our accumulation of tension.
Descriptive Table of
Contents Chapter Excerpts Copyright 1995, 2002
Louis A. Gross All Rights Reserved
Copyright 1995, 2002 Louis A. Gross All Rights Reserved